In my dream, I can see an ex-lover across the road in the small hut where I used to go to pre-school, but I can’t reach her. She is saying something to me but I can’t hear her. As I turn the corner and approach the church, it is gone, raised to the ground and nothing more than a huge pile of rubble. I sit on the rocks and cry.
This morning, when I check, the church is still standing, but in order to see, I have to walk past my own crumbling front wall. Recently I asked a builder if he could re-point but now I see that isn’t what it needs.
Misery results from a refusal to destroy and go again.
Sometimes I have been too quick to keep hold of what is no longer any use. I have reached for a paintbrush when I needed a hammer.
In therapy, for years I would mostly try to find ways of simply adjusting what already existed. Shoring up relationships and patching my vulnerabilities so that they would limp on, like a decrepit car, for another thousand miles.
The most effective way to choose a therapist is by instinct. That way, they fit best with what we need at that moment. It was John, my therapist at a time where I held on tightly to dust, who first told me about Shiva, the Hindu God of destruction. Without destruction, nothing new can emerge. Without dismantling the worthless or outdated parts of us we cannot make something better or stronger.
I learned something of myself through destruction. I learned that when I focus on it I am terrified, but when I look instead at the space left afterward there is excitement at the endless potential.
In my dream, I had no option but to let go. Everything was beyond my reach or control. My sadness was just panic at releasing what I had known. But something always comes after. Only by asking, “what next?” could I get rid of the fear.
As for the front wall, it needs knocking down and building again. Smaller this time so that a patch of planting can go in behind it. Maybe some pots and shrubs providing colour and texture. It will be different, probably better, and it will have come from destruction.